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Hern v. Idaho Transp. Dep't

Court of Appeals of Idaho

December 30, 2015

GARY ALEXANDER HERN, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, Respondent

Appeal from the District Court of the Second Judicial District, State of Idaho, Nez Perce County. Hon. Jeff M. Brudie, District Judge.

Decision of the district court, acting in its appellate capacity, affirming the administrative suspension of driver's license, reversed; license suspension vacated.

Clark and Feeney; Charles M. Stroschein, Lewiston, for appellant.

Hon. Lawrence G. Wasden, Attorney General; Edwin L. Litteneker, Special Deputy Attorney General, Lewiston, for respondent.

Judge GUTIERREZ and Judge HUSKEY CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 428

GRATTON, Judge

Gary Alexander Hern appeals from the district court's decision, upon judicial review, affirming the Idaho Transportation Department's (ITD) order suspending his driver's license. Hern challenges the validity of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for breath testing and argues the hearing procedures deprived him of due process and the hearing officer violated his equal protection rights. We reverse the district court's decision affirming the hearing officer's decision and vacate Hern's license suspension.

I.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On April 5, 2013, an officer arrested Hern for driving under the influence of alcohol and issued him a notice of license suspension and temporary (thirty-day) driving permit.[1] On April 9, 2013, Hern requested an administrative hearing to contest his license suspension. Hern also requested that the hearing officer issue several subpoenas. On April 15, 2013, the hearing officer issued a notice for telephonic hearing to be held on May 9, 2013. On the same date, the hearing officer issued the subpoenas requested by Hern, with a compliance date of April 29, 2013. The hearing officer also issued a show cause letter to Hern indicating that the officer had extended the hearing date pursuant to Idaho Code § 18-8002A(7) to " allow time for the receipt of subpoenaed evidence requested by [Hern]." In response, Hern filed an objection to the show cause letter and extension of the hearing date and requested a hearing on the matter. The hearing officer did not respond to Hern's objection. Hern's temporary driving permit expired four days before the hearing, and he was without driving privileges at the time of the hearing.

Page 429

Hern raised an exhaustive list of challenges to his license suspension at the administrative hearing. The hearing officer rejected each of these contentions and sustained the ninety-day license suspension.[2] Hern filed a petition for judicial review, and the ...


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